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Author Topic: an end to Colorthink ?  (Read 5248 times)
smilem
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« on: October 02, 2013, 06:00:40 AM »
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Hello, I'm sure some of you read the thread about "ColorThink Bug - Wrong values extracted from images with dimension > 500px" http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=82635.0

Colorthink seems to be dead for quite some time, 2 years anyone  Huh

Until now I haven't seen anything like it a viable alternative that could be used. But today I googled and as always found something I wasn't looking for: MAIDOTEC color management suite.

http://www.maidotec.com/en/color-management#3

They offer everything colorthink does and beyond, the major improvement is that GPU is used so it's very very fast.
The drawback is that they provide only demo and that means only fist module is active and it's very limited. There are no prices or anything on the website so it's very expensive or the MAIDOTEC has very stupid marketing rules.

So the question is WHO will buy the cat in bag? After seeing the nice presentation on MAIDOTEC website?Huh
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digitaldog
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« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2013, 12:36:18 PM »
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Colorthink seems to be dead for quite some time, 2 years anyone  Huh
Dead? It's been updated to fix some bugs, it works fine. Maybe we have a disagreement in what a dead product means <g>.

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They offer everything colorthink does and beyond, the major improvement is that GPU is used so it's very very fast.
I downloaded the demo. It doesn't do much as can be expected in a demo but either I don't understand (yet) a fraction of what it can do OR you might be missing a lot of what ColorThink can provide in terms of functionality because I don't see how you can say it offers everything colorthink does and beyond.

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The drawback is that they provide only demo and that means only fist module is active and it's very limited. There are no prices or anything on the website so it's very expensive or the MAIDOTEC has very stupid marketing rules.
Agreed. Not much info that's real useful. Also, try opening an image in Lab, I get a black result (bug?). Once you open an image, how on earth do you open another? I can quit and start over again.
It's fast for what it appears to be able to do in demo and it's nice looking. Other than that, I'm so far under whelmed.
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Andrew Rodney
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darlingm
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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2013, 04:04:39 PM »
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Hello, I'm sure some of you read the thread about "ColorThink Bug - Wrong values extracted from images with dimension > 500px" http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=82635.0

Colorthink seems to be dead for quite some time, 2 years anyone  Huh

Until now I haven't seen anything like it a viable alternative that could be used. But today I googled and as always found something I wasn't looking for: MAIDOTEC color management suite.

http://www.maidotec.com/en/color-management#3

They offer everything colorthink does and beyond, the major improvement is that GPU is used so it's very very fast.
The drawback is that they provide only demo and that means only fist module is active and it's very limited. There are no prices or anything on the website so it's very expensive or the MAIDOTEC has very stupid marketing rules.

So the question is WHO will buy the cat in bag? After seeing the nice presentation on MAIDOTEC website?Huh

(Original poster of the thread you linked to.)

It has been 2 years since the last ColorThink version.  With any software, there's always more development that can happen, and as a user it's nice to see frequent updates.  2 years is quite a long time for software.  It's quite possible they just got to a point where they thought the software covered just about everything they wanted to add, and hadn't seen bugs to fix.  One of their representatives recently told me on their forum that they were hoping to release a new version in the past few months.  Steve Upton in my thread about the ColorThink bug on ColorThink's website just referred to "the next release", which makes me even more optimistic there is something in the works.

The bug I found does have an easy work-around -- re-sizing any image you give to ColorThink yourself, so it's longest dimension is 500px.  The KEY to avoid the bug is to use nearest neighbor in your downsampling, as the sharpening functionality of other commonly used algorithms such as bicubic and bilinear introduce colors in the new image that weren't present in the original one.

With that workaround, it leaves me a lot of frustration about how many wrong decisions I made before knowing about the bug.  However, I've moved past that and am back to loving ColorThink and using it confidently.

Now, about Maidotec.  I hadn't seen this before - I thank you for my post.  I've even looked for other solutions.  I've asked them for a price quote.  I agree with you that the typical pricing for a product that offers some type of demo without discussing pricing is going to be quite high.
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Mike • Westland Printworks
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darlingm
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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2013, 07:27:21 PM »
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RE: Maidotec

Proofing version - Analyse/optimize images & profiles - approximately $1,300 USD  {as a comparison, ColorThink without ColorCast is $399}
Production version - Batch processing, hot folders, device link profiles, CMYK+ - they didn't give me the price
Printer+ - Dedicated to CMYK, CMYK+ image manipulation and printer characterization - they didn't give me the price.

They'll let you have a free 2 hour overview, which appears to be that you remote into their system to use it.  Don't know if they let you play around with it, or if it's more of a presentation you watch.  Don't know if there is interaction or not with anybody in the overview.
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Mike • Westland Printworks
Fine Art Printing • Amazing Artwork Reproduction • Photography
http://www.westlandprintworks.com • (734) 255-9761
digitaldog
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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2013, 07:31:17 PM »
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RE: Maidotec
Proofing version - Analyse/optimize images & profiles - approximately $1,300 USD  {as a comparison, ColorThink without ColorCast is $399}

They are insane <g>. Maybe the tread should be renamed to an end to Maidotec <g>
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2013, 09:54:32 PM »
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They are insane <g>. Maybe the tread should be renamed to an end to Maidotec <g>

well at the least it's not very fair to our friends at Chromix to have this lingering subject line... they are definitely alive, and people rarely get past a headline.
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smilem
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« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2013, 05:53:16 AM »
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digitaldog
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Dead? It's been updated to fix some bugs, it works fine. Maybe we have a disagreement in what a dead product means.

You know yourself what is alive software

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I'm now using ColorLogic Copra for all CMYK profiles but haven't really done a lot of work with it on RGB. The ColorLogic color engine is producing better output than i1P with the same data, a lot of averages of ECI's for output to press. That is apples to apples testing in this case. We had to hammer them a bit on the issue of blues being mapped from sRGB to our CMYK output going magenta in a couple areas and once we showed them our issues, they fixed the color engine in a few days.

Now regarding colorthink, I remember when they had their windows version beta v3.0.1 beta 20 that was more stable than their stable version. That was from read me March 30, 2008. After that they rolled out current version 3.0.3 my installed date is 2009 November 19. If they update it afterwards then was it that hard to post a changes log on their website, they should distribute a zip file instead exe, most corporate environments even do not allow exe to be downloaded.

The copyright in about dialog shows year 2000-2005

In a zip file you could also include the changes log file to show that bugs are being fixed.

Yes the prices of MAIDOTEC is bloated but I asked them about slogan "most powerful" they replied

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for instance, do you know any software that allows you to edit a RGB to N-Channels DeviceLink in realtime using a 3D inferface while simultaneously seeing the effects on a image and in a 3D color cloud?
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digitaldog
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« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2013, 08:42:23 AM »
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Yes the prices of MAIDOTEC is bloated but I asked them about slogan "most powerful" they replied
for instance, do you know any software that allows you to edit a RGB to N-Channels DeviceLink in realtime using a 3D inferface while simultaneously seeing the effects on a image and in a 3D color cloud?
Copra can do the editing albeit not while viewing a 3D interface/map at the same time (not sure that's a must have feature). The editing part, indeed.I wish they would add the feature for ICC profiles too.
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Andrew Rodney
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smilem
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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2013, 09:39:34 AM »
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Profile editing was a trend back when profilemaker was the best ICC builder, then x-rite as you know said that profile should be built right and no editing should be performed. As a fact of life there is no profile editing in i1profiler.

If colorthink in new version would support GPU and some sort of ICC editing that would be awesome.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2013, 10:35:21 AM »
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Profile editing was a trend back when profilemaker was the best ICC builder, then x-rite as you know said that profile should be built right and no editing should be performed.
Actually, there was a profile editing module in MonacoPROFILER prior to PMP's. That said, some editing is quite useful. Case in point, the ability to edit the media white point. Also, I found a bug in PROFILER where it produced a scum dot in some CMYK profiles in one or two channels. That's a problem that is easily fixed by an editor. Easier than waiting on the bug to be fixed (it never was).
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Andrew Rodney
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maidotec
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2013, 07:28:38 AM »
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Hi guys,

I am the developper of MAÏDOTEC. We're a very young company that just started marketing its products this year, and we made the choice to serve a limited amount of customers at first so that we can focus on quality and provide tailored technical support. It doesn't come cheap, especially here in France!!!,  but you can be assured we're working on various range of products and dedicate our energy to provide what we truly think will be the best product on the market. We're working on releasing less expensive versions of MAIDOTEC Suite in 2014, on a per-module basis so that you get to buy only what you need. Bear with us as we're making every effort to become more affordable soon!

Our software has been coded from scratch in OpenGL, this means that it relies heavily on hardware configurations and this is why its design and use are quite different from other tools you may be accustomed to. We've put a lot of effort in giving you the ability to open very large images and perform all color management calculations in realtime. The idea is to open one image at a time and make it go interactively through any color flow you can imagine (illumination, proofing, ambient light, gamut mappings, etc.).

Most color management tools focus on profiles and not images. While I have no doubt that you have a deep knowledge of color management, many people aren't experts and added to the fact that the software interface is a bit unusual, there's a steep learning curve for most people that requires client ou use-specific training and a solid technical support with great availabilty. This explains our current pricing and the fact that we don't provide a full trial version that people might not be able to fully understand or use. This said, we're easily reachable so please drop us a mail if you have a question about our software functionalities,  we're a friendly bunch, ready to listen.
 

Best regards
Nabil Boukala
MAIDOTEC
« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 07:35:18 AM by maidotec » Logged
smilem
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2013, 11:38:06 AM »
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It's good to have MAIDOTEC representative here, welcome to the board.

The OpenGL features are really welcome to the visualization of ICC profiles etc.
I would suggest to make a separate products with time limited trials that customers can use and compare, suggest new features etc.

AFAIK color management industry doesn't need the "tailored technical support" because of "tailored products".
I think Steve Jobs showed all of us that computers and software must no be complicated, it must be as much self explanatory as possible.

I think your products are going to make a really needed revolution in the market if marketed the correct way, no selling from under the counter like some companies do, where you must beg for trial version just to delete it afterwards. Good product doesn't need that. And it's you as developer that must assure that your products are not pirated not the user.

Therefore I wish you success in your venture.

« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 11:40:29 AM by smilem » Logged
maidotec
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« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2013, 04:40:56 AM »
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Thank you very much smilem. Software piracy is not our main concern, we just don't want people to use our solution without fully understand it.
Let's take a technical example: softproofing. To do proofing, you have to specify the screen profile at an OS level and then within an application (let's says photoshop), you define the printer profile, rendering intent, the CMM, and other options…
We choose to bypass the OS and to have a built in CMM which makes our software multiplateform (MacOS, Windows, Linux). This also means that all color management options are gathered in one place as you can see in the trial version. Options are sorted in a panel ( called "Color Flow" ) the following way:
1. source profile: where your image come from? this is where you can assign it another profile or convert it to any other profile
3. destination profile: printer or screen  you want to simulate. Here you choose the rendering intent and this is where you can compute separations
4. virtual illuminant: to simulate lights. Proofing is usually done in D50, here you select any illuminants you want, even measured spectra.
5. screen profile: this is the current screen profile
6. ambient light: plug a spectro, measure ambient light in your office, and it is used in computations to precisely display colors
2. In between 1. and 3. you can insert and design gamut mappings, color transformations and device link to go from source to destination profile.
For us, this color flow looks natural and simple and allows you to simulate any configuration. Unfortunately, this concept, which is the basis of our viewer, is not so easy to understand for most people. If you have any idea on how to design this panel so that everybody understand it at the first look, well, you have my full attention.

Regards
Nabil
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